Bloomberg.com reporter Holly Rosenkrantz believes things have been “looking up” for Organized Labor. Rosenkrantz’s October 29 article cites several recent victories for Labor, including newly imposed federal tariffs on tires produced overseas for U.S. manufacturers, free trade agreements being put on hold and a potential rule change making it easier for airline workers to organize. Despite the apparent differences among these victories, Rosenkrantz argues that there is a “common thread” linking them together — President Barack Obama.
Rosenkrantz stated, “Organized labor is gaining momentum under the Democratic administration of President Barack Obama.” University of California at Berkley Professor Harley Shaiken is quoted as supporting Rosenkrantz’s position, stating that “[a]fter eight years wandering in the wilderness, unions have unprecedented access to the White House.” Further, AFL-CIO’s newly elected President, Richard Trumka, says he “meets monthly” with President Obama, and White House Spokesperson, Tommy Vietor, said Administration officials meet with labor leaders “frequently.”
One thing is clear: after spending a record $450 million during the last election cycle, Organized Labor certainly has the “ear” of this Administration.
While she admits that Labor’s most important goals, EFCA and government-run health insurance, “remain in doubt,” Rosenkrantz observes that unions continue to “make other gains through executive orders, rule changes and appointments.”
One of this Blog’s authors, Michael J. Lotito, is quoted in the article, reminding us that despite the gains labor already has made, “[t]here is going to be a flurry of labor action down the pike.”
We welcome your thoughts.